December 12, 2019

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Daily Dose of Theros Beyond Death #1 – Gods Return and some sweet Basic Lands

Welcome all to the return of the Daily Dose, Theros Beyond Death edition! I’m excited to write about some of the new cards coming out on January 24th. Theros Beyond Death is a return to a plane we all know quite well. Although a lot is expected when it comes to theme, there are still plenty of details left to be unanswered. The Theros Block brought us devotion, Gods and plenty of enchantments, but will Theros Beyond Death deliver more of the same? At first glance, it appears yes, but what else does it have in store for us. Today I’ll be looking at a card that appears to hit all the Theros checklists as well as some sweet looking basic lands that I think all players will love.

First off, I want to talk about the sweet new full-art lands from Theros Beyond Death. Here they are in all their glory!

Basic Lands

We haven’t seen full art lands in a major expansion since Hour of Devastation and Amonkhet. Even then, it was only a slim chance of getting one in your packs. You’ll have to go way back to October 2015 to BFZ to find a standard expansion in which you are guaranteed to get a full art land in every pack. This might seem like a small thing, but for some this is a big deal, myself included. I love full art lands, with the ones from Unstable and Unhinged being my go-to full art lands. These new ones from Theros Beyond Death are beautiful though and have a good chance of making the rotation into some of my decks. This is great for players as it adds almost a guaranteed value in every booster pack that you open.

The card I want to talk about today is the buy-a-box promo for the new set. Here is Athreos, Shroud-Veiled.

Athreos, Should-Veiled

It is the returns of enchantment Gods to Magic! This card has a lot to take in, so let me try to break it down bit by bit. The casting cost of 6 continues a recent trend of buy a box promos being higher casting cost cards. They shouldn’t see a ton of Standard play, and are maybe meant more for casual or Commander play. Sometimes though they might not see the power level of the card such as Nexus of Fate and to a lesser degree the most recent one Kenrith, the Returned King which is seeing some Standard play. If we look at the card type of the card, “Legendary Enchantment Creature – God” leaves me intrigued. Enchantment creatures are a great design space, and could force players to play main deck enchantment removal. Since Athreos, Shroud-Veiled and other Gods are most likely Indestructible, you need to be able to exile it.

Currently there are two cards in Standard that can do that in True Love’s Kiss and Crush Contraband, neither of which are great cards by themselves. There are also some better answers that can exile permanents in the form of Conclave Tribunal and Deputy of Detention. The best one though, assuming most Gods will have high casting costs is Despark. Look to see more of that cards if Gods get out of hand and/or overpowered in Standard.

Devotion

Devotion is back in Standard, which is great, but how easy will it be to get up to seven devotion to make Athreos, Shroud-Veiled into a creature? Will this lead to some cards not currently being played in Standard to see play? Just looking at some potential devotion heavy cards, the first to look at is Ayara, First of Lochthwain. it pairs well with the ability on Athreos, Shroud-Veiled as well. A great creature that would add a ton of devotion to the battlefield would be Basilica Bell-Haunt. It’s a strong creature on its own and would be a great target for Athreos, Shroud-Veiled’s ability as well. I haven’t even talked about all the four casting cost hybrid creatures from Throne of Eldraine like Resolute Rider. Adding that alone almost turns on Athreos, Shroud-Veiled to be a creature. Finally, let’s talk about the main ability on Athreos, Shroud-Veiled. It allows you to recur dead or exiled creature under your control if you’ve put a coin counter on it. One thing to note is that this includes your opponent’s creatures as well. This works great with any creatures you have with death or ETB triggers as well, allowing you to recur them for value. Overall, I think this a great card.

This is a great start to the new set, and I haven’t talked about a non-land card that shows up in booster packs yet! Thanks again for reading the Daily Dose of Theros Beyond Death and I look forward to writing about the new set in the coming months. Join me again tomorrow as I start talking about some of the sweet new planeswalkers from the new set.